Tag Archives: basil

Loaded Salad

“It is increasingly obvious that environmentally sustainable solutions to world hunger can only emerge as people eat more plant foods and fewer animal products. To me it is deeply moving that the same food choices that give us the best chance to eliminate world hunger are also those that take the least toll on the environment, contribute the most to our long-term health, are the safest, and are also, far and away, the most compassionate towards our fellow creatures.” -John Robbins (Author of Diet for a New America and The Food Revolution)

This salad & salad dressing are scrumdiddilyumptious!!


  • 2 cup red romaine
  • 2 cup green leaf lettuce
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 carrot, shaved
  • 1/4 cucumber, sliced
  • 3-4 pieces of marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 T chia seeds
  • 1 T hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup feta (exclude for vegan)
  • 1 hard boiled egg (exclude for vegan)

Toss the ingredients together.

Salad Dressing

  • 3 parts EVOO
  • 2 parts red wine vinegar
  • dried basil, sprinkle in generously
  • dried rosemary, sprinkle in generously
  • salt & pepper to taste

Whisk ingredients together.  It is a good practice to make your own salad dressings whenever possible because you don’t need to consume preservatives, additives, and ‘natural flavors’ that are terrible for your health!  It blows my mind that salad dressings often have in excess of 10-15 ingredients when you can make your own for a fraction of that.


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Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

So it is Monday night and I am getting a late start to dinner because I had an exam at 6pm which required my attention today.  This recipe had two different variations for using a slow-cooker or stove-top.  Since I don’t want to wait 5 more hours to eat I opted for the stove-top version.  It was pretty easy most of the time consumed was cutting the vegetables and stirring the roux (I had never heard of such terminology until tonight since I am still a pretty amateur cook).

I made some adjustments to the recipe that I found.  I looked into replacements for chicken broth and read about vegetable stock.  It can be home-made or store bought.  If you go the store bought route be sure to look at the ingredients list because some had hydrogenated oils and other un-healthy ingredients.  I also read to add butter to recipes using vegetable stock in place of chicken/beef broth/stock because it is missing the animal fats. I also replaced half of the flour the recipe called with whole wheat, non-gmo flour.  I would have replaced all of it but I wasn’t sure how strong of a flavor the whole wheat would have and I had white flour to use up too.


  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • small amount of olive oil
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 4 cups diced tomatoes with juice (I used canned)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup butter with the vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup butter for the roux
  • 1/2 cup flour, I did 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 enriched white
  • 1 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups half and half, warmed
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot.  Add celery, carrots, and onions.  Saute 5 minutes.  Add bay leaf, oregano, basil, tomatoes, vegetable stock, and 1/4 cup butter.  Bring it to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes.
  2. While the soup simmers, prepare a roux.  Melt 1/2 cup of butter over low heat, add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 5-7 minutes.  Slowly stir in 1 cup of hot soup in to the roux.  Keep stirring until you add 4 cups of soup into the mixture.  Add back into the soup pot.
  3. Simmer, stirring constantly until soup begins to thicken.  Add parmesan cheese and keep stirring.  Stir warmed half and half, salt, and pepper into the soup.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally.
  4. Garnish with extra parmesan cheese.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


this is the non-GMO flour I used, I will post some information on GMO in a later post
the final product with some garlic toast

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